This post is just for fun. I don't think we have a real shot at getting Parker -- the 6'8" junior from Chicago -- who also happens to be active LDS -- widely considered the #1 recruit in the country this coming season.
But, Larry has to swing for the fences with this one. Why not? Landing Jabari would be a grand slam for the team, the program, and LK's coaching career.
For context, Parker has not made any official visits to any school yet, but here is who he has offers from (basically the who's who of college hoops... and BYU, as well as DePaul and Northwestern, his hometown schools):
So, just for kicks, here is the pitch I would make to Jabari if I'm Krystkowiak. I'd be interested if you think I'm missing anything, or taking the wrong angle*:
Mr. Parker, you're a talented player, and obviously being courted by the best schools and coaches in the country. You can't make a bad choice. All of these schools have rich histories of success, and all of them have put players into the NBA. Also, you're talents are such that, with continued hard work, you'll end up in the NBA no matter which school you choose.
With that said, you need to choose the school that will best prepare you to immediately compete in the NBA, as well as secure the best draft pick you can.
All of these schools will offer you a great education, but here is why you need to come to the University of Utah to be a Runnin' Ute:
Of all the coaches recruiting you, only [edit: three] of us have been head coaches in the NBA: me, [John Calipari], and Rick Pitino. That is valuable experience as we guide you to prepare for a professional career. Only Rick, [John], and I have that perspective of coaching NBA players as NBA HCs.
Of all the coaches recruiting you, only two of us have played in the NBA: me, and Washington's Lorenzo Romar. Both of us had careers that exceeded that of the average NBA career. I played for nine seasons, and Lorenzo played seven.
I'm the only coach recruiting you who has been both an NBA head coach AND had a long career as an NBA player -- not to mention my collegiate successes. I know what I'm talking about when it comes to becoming NBA ready.
You're going to be very good. You have to choose if you want to be one of several blue chip players on one team, or be "the man" on another team. There is no wrong choice there. But if you want to play on a team where you can make an immediate impact, you'll still want to do it on a big stage. The PAC-12 is that perfect stage. The PAC-12's new TV deal will make all of your games available for scouts and your family to see, but you can stand out as a star in the PAC, while still playing in an elite league that will prepare you for the NBA.
You're LDS. While college is a time to meet new people with diverse backgrounds, I also realize that an LDS student who grew up in Chicago might want to be able to socialize with other LDS students. At the University of Utah, you get the best of both worlds. There is a significant LDS presence among the U of U student body, but there are just as many students with other backgounds. The same goes for my team. David Foster will be leaving as you get here, but we'll have Jeremy Olsen and Jordan Loveridge who are also LDS, so you'll have some familiarity AND some diversity on my team.
While BYU could also offer you an LDS community, the competition and exposure you'll get in the PAC-12 will far exceed what you will get in the WCC on a night-in and night-out basis. Also, at the U, you can forge whatever LDS experience you would like. We have no rules that dictate your dress, grooming, housing, but we do have rules to keep you in line as a great citizen, student, and teammate. Come and make whatever social experience you feel comfortable with at the University of Utah.
I'll get you ready for the NBA. We are both front line players, and I know what it takes to help you have a long career. I was rarely the most talented player on the court, but I worked hard and gained the edge to stay in the NBA for a long time. I'll teach you how to have a long professional career.
Please sign on the dotted line to become a Ute, one of the most successful college basketball programs of all time. Welcome to the Runnin' Ute fraternity.
(*I might even see if I can convince Coach Whittingham, who is LDS, to give him a call and talk about the unique balance and opportunities of being an LDS athlete at the U.)
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